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INTERCHIP achieves 3x faster verification for next-gen clocking oscillator with advanced analog and mixed-signal EDA technology

INTERCHIP achieves 3x faster verification for next-gen clocking oscillator with advanced analog and mixed-signal EDA technology
by Daniel Nenni on 03-05-2024 at 6:00 am

siemens symphony interchip large

Customer case studies have always been my favorite source of information. Press releases are a great start but there is always more to the story. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to speak with Sumit Vishwakarma, principal product manager at Siemens EDA about their recent press release with Interchip. I was an advisor to Berkeley Design Automation (Analog FastSPICE author) up until the acquisition by Siemens EDA so this one was of special interest to me.

What are the key products of Interchip?
Interchip is a leading fabless semiconductor company that specializes in high precision, low power oscillator products. Their high precision Crystal Oscillator ICs are deployed globally in a wide range of products, including computers, mobile phones, medical devices, and industrial equipment.

What is a Voltage Controlled Oscillator and how it differs from a Crystal Oscillator?
Voltage Controlled Oscillators (VCXOs) are electronic devices that generate an output signal with a frequency that can be varied by applying a voltage to the device. Crystal Oscillators (XOs) are electronic circuits that use the mechanical resonance of a vibrating crystal of piezoelectric material to create an electrical signal with a very precise frequency.

What makes Interchip Oscillators stand out?
Interchip excels in high speed, high-precision, wide-pulling-range Crystal Oscillators with robust noise performance and low power consumption.

What are the verification challenges of these Oscillator circuits?
Verifying high-precision, wide-pulling-range Voltage Controlled Oscillators (VCOs) poses challenges including maintaining frequency stability, minimizing phase noise and nonlinear effects, balancing power consumption, managing temperature sensitivity and process variability, ensuring wide pulling range performance, minimizing jitter, and addressing integration complexities. Meeting these challenges requires comprehensive simulation, modeling, characterization, and testing across diverse operating conditions.

How did Siemens EDA AFS and Symphony technology help Interchip meet the verification challenges of these designs?
Interchip used Siemens’ Analog FastSPICE (AFS) and Symphony platform to verify its newest IPV Voltage-Controlled Crystal Oscillator (VCXO) integrated circuits and IPS Simple Packaged Crystal Oscillator (SPXO). These tools from Siemens helped INTERCHIP perform silicon-accurate simulations of their designs three times faster compared to their previous solution. This notable acceleration in verification cycles proved pivotal in successfully meeting their aggressive time-to-market objectives.

What is Siemens Analog FastSPICE platform?
Siemens’ Analog FastSPICE platform provides circuit verification for nanometer analog, RF, mixed-signal, memory, and custom digital circuits. Certified for foundries down to 2nm, the platform can deliver nanometer-scale SPICE accuracy twice as fast as parallel SPICE simulators. The solution includes comprehensive, full-spectrum device noise analysis to help customers achieve silicon-accurate results.

What is Siemens Symphony platform?
Symphony is industry’s fastest and most configurable mixed-signal solution to accurately verify design functionality, connectivity, and performance across A/D interfaces at all levels of the design hierarchy and for all IC applications. Symphony’s modular architecture leverages AFS to provide the fastest mixed-signal simulation performance with nm SPICE accuracy, proven on a wide range of ICs and IC subsystems including ADCs, transceivers, PMICs, multi-GHz PLLs/DLLs, and sensors.

And what is Symphony Pro?
Symphony Pro is our advance tier of Symphony. It is built on the proven performance of Symphony and Questa Visualizer™ to augment the support for digital-centric mixed signal verification methodologies such as UVM-AMS and UPF-MS. Symphony Pro’s Visualizer MS environment offers a seamless debug experience across the entire mixed-signal design hierarchy with comprehensive analysis, automation, and ease-of-use for unmatched productivity.

Here are the quotes from the press release:

“As a leading Crystal Oscillator manufacturer serving many of world’s leading consumer, medical and industrial OEMs, our team thrives on overcoming complex engineering hurdles to deliver high speed, high-precision, wide-pulling-range Crystal Oscillators,” said Ryuji Ariyoshi, CEO, INTERCHIP. “We pride ourselves in successfully overcoming complex design challenges such as linearity, frequency pushing, noise performance, aging and power consumption. Siemens’ Analog FastSPICE platform stood out as our top choice for its ability to provide nanometer, SPICE accurate results at a remarkable 3x faster speed than conventional SPICE simulators. Further, Siemens’ Symphony platform enabled us to successfully verify our chip’s complex analog and digital interaction and functionality.”

“High-precision Crystal oscillators play a critical role in advanced IC clock systems, and they are indispensable in modern electronic devices,” said Amit Gupta, vice president and general manager for the Custom IC Verification Division at Siemens Digital Industries Software. “Their accurate timing, stable frequencies and reliable performance are essential for helping to achieve proper operation, data integrity and overall system efficiency in a wide range of applications. It is rewarding to see the pivotal role played by our Analog FastSPICE and Symphony platforms in facilitating INTERCHIP’s development and verification of their latest high-precision oscillator design.”

I was also an advisor for Amit Gupta, CEO of Solido Design, before their acquisition by Siemens EDA.  EDA is a small world, absolutely.

Also Read:

AI and SPICE Circuit Simulation Applications

Mastering Mixed-Signal Verification with Siemens Symphony Platform

Cryogenic Semiconductor Designs for Quantum Computing

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